UKTV has confirmed Darren Childs as its new chief executive officer. The current managing director of BBC Worldwide Channels will be joined by new chief financial officer Jan Gooze-Zijl.
Both appointments have come from within the family, Childs has been a director of UKTV since 2006. Dutchman Gooze-Zijl is currently finance director, planning, at Virgin Media.
Childs will takeover from David Abraham, who left in January for Channel 4 after a successful rebranding exercise of the UKTV channels. UKTV, which runs channel brands including Dave, Yesterday, Gold and Watch, is jointly owned by BBC Worldwide and Virgin Media.
John Smith, CEO, BBC Worldwide said while sad that Childs was leaving the running of BBC Worldwide Channels, he was the right man to take the business forward: “Darren’s time with us has been hugely successful and he has spearheaded the growth of our BBC branded channels around the world while maintaining an impressive increase in sales and profit.”
In September, Eamonn O’Hare, Virgin Media’s chief financial officer will become the Chair of UKTV in addition to his role at Virgin Media and replacing Smith. As part of the joint ownership agreement between BBC Worldwide and Virgin Media, the chair of UKTV alternates on an annual basis between the shareholders. The appointment adds further doubt to reports of a potential sale of Virgin Media’s 50% stake in the business.
Childs joined BBC Worldwide in 2005, he was previously SVP, International Networks for Sony Pictures Television International (SPTI). He also spent time in the Asia as director of programming for MTV Asia and then as Director of Business Development at Channel V (part of the Star TV platform).